ENGLEWOOD — A city councilman involved in drafting a new towing ordinance found his own vehicle towed this past December — and called police furious about it.

Councilman Charles Cobb called police on the morning of Dec. 11 to ask about his car and was told by a dispatcher and a sergeant on duty that the car had been towed because his registration had expired in January of 2016. Audio of the call was published by NorthJersey.com this week; New Jersey 101.5 has since received a copy of the call as well.

"I had a car that was parked in front of my own house, my own car, and it's no longer sitting there," he said.

Cobb said he did not understand why his car was towed if it had never been ticketed. When told it was because his registration had expired almost a year, earlier Cobb told the dispatcher that he was "the guy who wrote the ordinance," on towing changes.

"I'm just telling you whoever it is, y'all need to contact them, bring that car back."

He added, "Whoever got that towed, they won't have the towing contract."

When the dispatcher handed the call to Sgt. James Morgan of the Englewood Police Department, Cobb's frustration continued to grow.

"Who towed my F---ing car?" he asked.

When the councilman stated again that his car did not have any tickets, Morgan informed him that there was a ticket now, and again stated that it had been towed because the registration had been expired for "just short of a year."

Cobb can be heard on the recording saying that there had been other cars with issues on the street for months that had not been towed, saying "You're not doing your job."

"We're not doing our job?" Morgan responded. "Obviously we did our job."

When Cobb mentioned again that the car had been towed at 6 a.m. after being ticketed the same day Morgan responded, "What would be a good time for us to do it? You tell us."

"This whole thing happens all over the street and you do nothing," Cobb said. "All of a sudden because we have this tow ordinance discussion, this is what I get?"

As the call wound down Morgan said he was offended that Cobb was insinuating that he was being targeted, adding that the city had towed 12 cars that day.

The councilman told the sergeant "I don't care what you take offense to.

He added, "This conversation's over and you know what? We'll deal with it."

According to an earlier report by the Englewood Daily Voice, the council last year adopted its new towing ordinance, which requires a response within 20 minutes of a call, and also requires tow companies to have parking lots with a minimum of 25 spots rather than leaving towed cars on the street.

The ordinance also requires towers to not have felony convictions or a driver's license suspensions on their record within a year of getting contracts with the city. Companies that violate the 20-minute rule risk a license suspension.

According to that story, residents had concerns over possible conflicts of interest, and relationships between towing companies and officials. Cobb had said he agreed there was a need for "full transparency."

Calls and emails by New Jersey 101.5 to Cobb, the council's president, Englewood's mayor and the city police department have not yet been returned.

More From New Jersey 101.5

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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